Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lehigh Acres, FL woman sentenced to 25 years prison, 10 years probation for murder of sleeping husband

A Lehigh Acres, FL woman who murdered her husband while he was sleeping then staged a phony abduction of her self and her kids was sentenced to 25 years in prison followed by 10 years probation Monday, April 26, in a Lee County courtroom. The woman plead guilty to 2nd degree murder in the attack on her husband took place August 11, 2008. Child abuse charges, for the phony abduction story, were dropped as part of the plea deal. The phony abduction took place  with the help of Amber duct taping her kids. The husband suffered 6 gunshot wounds to the head.

Amber Rose Roberts, [then] 24, had at first told Lee County sheriff's deputies that she and her two young children had been kidnapped. That was how she explained why they were walking in the area of Greenbriar Boulevard while her husband, John Roberts, 27, was dead in bed, having suffered from multiple gunshot wounds.

But according to detective William Murphy, the stories Amber Roberts told didn't add up.

"When confronted with the inconsistencies, Amber Roberts confessed to shooting John Roberts multiple times with a .9 mm handgun," Murphy reported. "She also confessed that the alleged kidnapping was false. The information provided by Roberts was consistent with the physical evidence gathered at the scene. Amber Roberts also escorted detectives to multiple locations and additional evidence was recovered."

One of those locations was the canal at the corner of 32nd Street West and Ann Avenue, where deputies found the gun.

John Roberts' body was found by a deputy who arrived at the couple's 16th Street West home to serve eviction papers. Their home had been in foreclosure. They had lived there with their 7-month-old son and Amber's 5-year-old son.

The victim's cousin, Robbin Brophy said that two weeks before the murder at a family function, things seemed to be going smoothly and asked this pointed question of her cousin's killer. “Who made you judge, jury and executioner of John’s life? Do you realize how many lives you have ruined?” Brophy also said that "If there was a problem, you could have come to any one of us.” Brophy was one of almost 20 family members of the victim present. Assistant State Attorney Dan Feinberg said they would have liked to have seen a harsher sentence, but understand the criminal justice system.

Amber Roberts said little except to answer mostly yes and no questions from prosecutors.[She] had planned on using battered wife syndrome as a defense, and she said she agreed with the strategy of her attorney, David Goldberg, who didn’t take the deposition of law enforcement officers in the case. Instead, he deposed rebuttal witnesses who could testify about that defense.

“I was just going by what he was looking at in my best interests,” was the lengthiest statement Amber Roberts said.Goldberg said the battered spouse syndrome was a viable defense, but the plea was in her best interests.

The son she had before her marriage with her victim is in the care of relatives. The whereabouts of the child she had with her victim is unknown. Amber should be released in a little under 20 years, assuming she gets all of her good time credits.

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